Russian pop star Zelimkhan Bakaev appears to be the latest victim of the Chechen government’s gay purge, with some sources reporting that Moscow-based Bakaev was picked up Aug. 8 by men in military uniforms when he went to Grozny in Chechnya for his sister’s wedding.
According to Back2Stonewall.com: “A source close to activists in the region have stated that Bakaev, 26, was tortured to death: ‘He arrived in Grozny and was picked up by police within three hours,’ they claimed. ‘Within 10 hours he was murdered.'”
GayStarNews.com notes that Bakaev’s Instagram account has been deleted, but not before a photo was posted to it after he disappeared claiming he was at a Grozny restaurant. “But in the photo Bakaey is wearing a jacket, even though it was summer, leading advocates to believe it was not posted by the singer.”
GayStarNews.com also reports that Chechnya’s Ministry of Internal Affairs told journalists there had been no reports of Bakaev having gone missing.
According to the Russian LGBT Network, hundreds of men have been detained and tortured in Chechnya on “suspicions of homosexuality.” At least 10, they say, have been murdered by Chechen authorities for being gay.